Baron Capizzi is nearly 96, but he still works at his barbershop in North Miami Beach.
A World War II vet who has a wound on his right hand from a Japanese bayonet, Baron doesn’t brag about his time in the service. “We had a job to do and we did it,” Baron said after our reporter peppered him with questions about his time in the Pacific Theater.
He said that he learned to never worry in life and his daughter confirmed that she’s never seen him stressed or too busy to talk to someone.
He’s been a barber for 60 years and still cuts the hair of Kenny DeFillipo, a man in his 70s who got his first hair cut from Baron at age 10.
His life is testament to how much history really is in our community.
NOW WATCH: This Is The Oldest Building In The Western Hemisphere. We Bet You’ve Never Heard Of It
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About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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By Joy Pamnani
HONG KONG- The Wukan protests have hit global news headlines over the past few weeks, and yet many people, still don’t have a good idea of what it is all about.
The controversy seems to have begun in 2011, and it is certainly complicated.
But in this piece, we’re just boiling it down to the basics.
What sparked the protests?
Back in September 2011, the Wukan protests began as a result of land sales disputes in the Chinese coastal village.
Protestors argue that corrupt government officials got involved in land sales in the region without properly compensating villagers for their land that was sold.
Protests soon erupted, and clashes between the police and villagers left dozens wounded.
The movements grew in scale when a protest leader in police custody died in December 2011, as villagers forced the entire local government, Communist Party leadership and police out of the village.
Why is Wukan known as the “democracy village” experiment?
Wukan became known as China’s democracy village after villagers were granted the right to vote for officials following protests in 2011.
The term “democracy village” comes as many of China’s villages are state-controlled.
The country has started to introduce grassroots democracy for its villagers, and Wukan is a place people see the impacts of democracy in China, akin to an experiment.
What brought the issue into the spotlight again recently?
Protests have been on-and-off for the past few years, as villagers call for an eradication of corruption and better protection of land rights in China.
Authorities, on the other hand, have sent police and troops to crack down on the protests.
Clashes have continued.
WATCH: BBC News Report from Wukan in June, 2016
One of the elected village leaders, Lin Zuluan, was looked up to by many villagers in his fight against land seizures.
In June, he was sentenced to three years imprisonment facing bribery charges after he drafted a letter to the government demanding an end to corruption.
Lin released a taped confession, admitting to his crimes.
However, villagers believed his confession was forced and began marching along the streets, calling on authorities to release him.
If corruption is prevalent in China, why is this one of the only few uprisings we’ve seen so far?
Many mass movements have been a result of corruption, yet mainland media censorship stops information about protests that get out of hand.
While most people think the news was spread as a result of large-scale of demonstrations, experts believe it had to do with villagers’ intentions of making the news circulate around the world.
“The protestors in Wukan were very smart and invited international media outlets to broadcast the story,” Chen Xi, an Associate Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong told RISE NEWS in an interview.
Yuan Weishi, a retired historian from the Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, told the New York Times that geographical factors also play a role in Wukan’s mass coverage.
Guangdong is China’s wealthiest and most liberal province, and its citizens tend to look at uncensored news reports from Hong Kong, where people enjoy a higher degree of political freedom.
“People in Guangdong watch Hong Kong TV, rarely China Central Television, and so have a better understanding of civil society and the rule of law,” Weishi said, in a telephone interview with the New York Times back in 2011.“Being exposed to the Hong Kong media in their daily lives gives Guangdong people a better understanding of how the media works and what they can do.”
Hong Kong people held a democracy movement called the Umbrella Revolution two years back, and they didn’t receive as much backlash from the government. Why so?
Before going into comparisons, it’s important to understand the political context involved when comparing Hong Kong and Wukan.
Deciding whether or not to stop demonstrations in Wukan and Hong Kong don’t share the same dimensions in decision-making.
“Hong Kong was a British colony, and got handed over to China in 1997. The city has a considerable amount of autonomy, and a crackdown is an important decision related to national sovereignty,” Chen Xi told RISE NEWS. “An incident like Wukan is only a local matter.”
What’s in store for China’s democracy scene in the years to come?
Well, different experts have different thoughts on the issue.
According to a New York Times interview with Johan Lagerkvist, a professor at Stockholm University, Lagerkvist believes the Wukan incident will discourage the spread of democracy in China.
“It is now unlikely that other villages in China would adopt democracy in the mold of Wukan.” he said in the article.
However, Professor Chen Xi begs to differ, as grassroots democracy has spread well over China, as officials begin to embrace the concept of self-governance.
“Wukan is not a good model for democracy in China,” Chen Xi said. “Many elected officials have taken good care of their villages and I believe grassroots democracy will spread.”
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
You can also like our RISE NEWS Hong Kong Facebook page to stay engaged with our local coverage.
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By Staff Report
Jeb Bush stepped in it last week on the campaign trail when he made a controversial statement that seemed to indicate that Democrats appeal to African-American voters because of “free stuff.”
“Our message is one of hope and aspiration,” he was quoted as saying by the Washington Post at a South Carolina GOP event . “It isn’t one of division and get in line and we’ll take care of you with free stuff. Our message is one that is uplifting- that says you can achieve earned success.”
Well Larry Wilmore, the host of the Nightly Show took offense to Bush’s comments. At the start of his show on Monday, Wilmore tore into the former Florida governor with a not so subtle attack. His staff helpfully tweeted it out:
— The Nightly Show (@nightlyshow) September 29, 2015
WATCH: Jeb Bush makes controversial statements in Mount Pleasant, SC about black voters.
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By Jessica Gandy
The on again and off again relationship between Miss Piggy and Kermit is officially off, so who’s Kermit’s new sizzling sidepiece?
On Sept. 1, Kermit released an official statement on his current relationship status, because of rumors circulating about Kermit and a new belle.
“While I prefer to keep my personal life private, this is Hollywood, so who am I kidding? It is true that I am dating again. However, at this time no one woman – pig or otherwise—is my official ‘new girlfriend’. We are simply close friends,” Kermit said in a tweet.
Kermit broke the Internet and hearts around the world, as fans tweeted their response to his news.
— Dustin Stauffer (@dustinstauffer2) September 1, 2015
Kermit diving into a relationship so soon with Denise—who bears more than a passing resemblance to his ex—suggests some issues, but ☕?
— Parker Higgins (@xor) September 1, 2015
So who is this new woman in Kermit’s life? Her name is Denise, according to People Magazine. Photos of Kermit and Denise have been circulated around the Internet over the past week. Few seem to know much about the mysterious pig, but she has caused quite the uproar- or up-oink.
While neither Kermit, Denise, The Jim Henson Company or ABC have commented much on the issue, ABC’s promo video, featuring both characters, leads some to speculate whether or not Denise is just a publicity stunt to drum up ratings for The Muppets’ new show, similar to when Barbie and Ken’s split in 2004 was seen by some as an attempt to increase Mattel’s stock.
— Zombie Leader (@ZombieLeader1) September 2, 2015
While some fans have not been extremely welcoming of Denise, Miss Piggy seems to have not been affected at all. Miss Piggy has been spotted with some of Hollywood’s hottest celebrities like Liam Hemsworth and Constance Wu.
A photo posted by Liam Hemsworth (@liamhemsworth) on
So while adding Kermit and Miss Piggy to the list of infamous celebrity break-ups, like Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston, is unfortunate, Denise could be a promising, new leading lady for Kermit in the future.
Photo Credit: ABC (Screengrab)Post Views: 685
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